Phuket, Thailand’s largest island, offers a diverse range of attractions and beautiful beaches, making it an ideal destination for travelers of all tastes. Whether you’re seeking relaxation, adventure, or a bustling nightlife scene, there’s a perfect spot for you on this tropical oasis. To fully enjoy your experience, it’s essential to choose the right location to stay in Phuket, as each area possesses its unique charm and landmarks.
Among Phuket’s numerous beach destinations, Kata Beach is an excellent choice for those seeking a mix of relaxation and excitement. Its soft sands, crystal-clear waters, and vibrant nightlife make it a trendy spot for both couples and families. On the other hand, Patong Beach is an ideal spot for travelers seeking a bustling party atmosphere filled with shopping, dining, and entertainment options.
For those who appreciate culture and history, Phuket Town is a must-visit destination. This historical town offers an authentic Thai experience with its well-preserved Sino-Portuguese architecture and bustling local markets. Here, you can immerse yourself in Phuket’s rich cultural heritage while enjoying delicious local cuisine and unique shopping experiences.
Where To Stay
Popular Areas to Stay in Phuket
Phuket, Thailand is known for its beautiful beaches, vibrant nightlife, and tropical climate. The island boasts various neighborhoods, each offering a slightly different experience for travelers. In this section, we’ll discuss four popular areas to stay in Phuket: Patong Beach, Kata Beach, Karon Beach, and Phuket Town.
Patong Beach is the most famous and bustling area in Phuket, attracting travelers with its lively atmosphere, shopping, and nightlife. It is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a bit of everything – beautiful beaches, numerous dining options, and exciting nightlife, with the famous Bangla Road as the heart of the party district. However, it can be quite crowded and may not be the best option for those seeking a more tranquil and relaxing holiday.
Fun Fact: Patong Beach is known for its beautiful sunsets and the local beach volleyball games that take place every evening.
Things to do in Patong Beach:
- Enjoy the nightlife on Bangla Road
- Shop at the bustling Jungceylon Shopping Center
- Parasail, jetski, or try other water sports available along the beach
Located on Phuket’s west coast, Kata Beach is trendy among tourists seeking a more relaxed atmosphere than Patong, yet still offering an exciting nightlife scene. The area has several high-end resorts and restaurants, as well as beautiful beaches perfect for swimming and sunbathing. Kata Beach is also a popular destination for surfers between May and October.
Interesting Story: Kata Beach is said to be a favorite spot for the endangered Leatherback Turtles to lay their eggs.
Things to do in Kata Beach:
- Visit the local markets on Mondays and Thursdays
- Learn surfing during the surfing season
- Enjoy happy hour at local beach bars
Located just south of Patong, Karon Beach is known for its beautiful 3-kilometer long white sandy beach and is an excellent option for travelers on a budget. It offers a more laid-back experience than Patong, yet still has a selection of restaurants, bars, and shopping options. The Karon beachfront is also ideal for a leisurely evening stroll.
Fun Fact: Karon Beach hosts the famous Karon Temple Market, held on Tuesdays and Saturdays.
Things to do in Karon Beach:
- Visit the Karon Temple Market for some shopping and delicious street food
- Explore the Karon Viewpoint, offering panoramic views of the Andaman Sea
- Rent a scooter and explore the nearby Big Buddha statue
For those interested in experiencing Phuket’s rich culture and history, Phuket Town is a great place to stay. This area is known for its well-preserved Sino-Portuguese architecture, local markets, and art galleries. Phuket Town offers a more authentic taste of Thai culture with its food scene and charming streets.
Interesting Story: Phuket Town’s Old Quarter gets transformed into a pedestrianized street food haven on every Sunday evening during the Lard Yai Walking Street Market.
Things to do in Phuket Town:
- Wander through the colorful streets of Old Phuket Town
- Explore the Thai Hua Museum to learn more about Phuket’s history
- Visit the weekend market for authentic Thai street food and local products
Luxury Resorts in Phuket
If you’re looking for a luxurious getaway in Phuket, these high-end resorts promise unforgettable experiences, offering world-class amenities, stunning locations, and impeccable service.
Located on a secluded bay along Phuket’s west coast, the Trisara Resort provides an ultimate private and upscale experience. The resort features:
- Beautiful oceanfront villas with private pools
- Fine dining options using organic produce from the resort’s own garden
- Wellness programs at the Trisara Spa, offering yoga and meditation sessions
Fun fact: Trisara is Sanskrit for “The Garden in the Third Heaven,” a nod to its lush tropical surroundings.
Things to do: Relax on the secluded beach, participate in a Thai cooking class, or explore the nearby coral reefs while snorkeling or scuba diving.
Anantara Layan Phuket Resort
Perched on a hillside overlooking Layan Beach, the Anantara Layan Phuket Resort offers serene luxury accommodations, including:
- Beachfront suites and pool villas
- A variety of culinary experiences, from traditional Thai to Mediterranean
- Access to the serene Anantara Spa for relaxation and rejuvenation
Interesting story: The Anantara Layan Phuket Resort hosts an annual charity event called the “Turtle Release,” where endangered sea turtles are released back into the ocean.
Things to do: Take advantage of the resort’s water sports, explore the charming Phuket Old Town, or enjoy a traditional Thai Longtail boat excursion.
COMO Point Yamu
Situated on the east coast of Phuket overlooking the Andaman Sea, COMO Point Yamu offers contemporary design and unparalleled views. The resort features:
- Spacious rooms, suites, and private villas
- A focus on wellness with yoga classes and COMO Shambhala Retreat spa
- Italian and Thai dining options, using locally-sourced ingredients
Fun fact: COMO Point Yamu was designed by renowned architect Paola Navone, combining contemporary design with Thai culture.
Things to do: Enjoy the resort’s private beach club, try local activities like Muay Thai boxing or Thai cooking classes, or take an excursion to the nearby Phang Nga Bay, famous for its limestone cliffs and turquoise waters.
The Bloc Hotel
The Bloc Hotel is a stylish and modern choice located close to Patong Beach. This hotel offers comfortable rooms with private balconies and a rooftop pool. Guests can enjoy exploring the nearby beach, shops, and restaurants, making it an attractive option for those who want to be near the heart of the action. The hotel also provides free Wi-Fi for their guests.
- Rooftop pool
- Private balconies
- Free Wi-Fi
The Bloc Hotel was designed with a chic urban style, giving guests a sophisticated place to retreat after a day of adventure.
Things to do:
- Explore Patong Beach
- Shopping and dining nearby
- Visit Bangla Road for nightlife
The Old Phuket Karon Beach Resort
The Old Phuket Karon Beach Resort is a charming resort located just a short walk away from Karon Beach. It features a blend of traditional Sino-Portuguese architecture and modern design, providing guests with a distinctive and memorable experience. The resort offers a variety of amenities, such as multiple dining options, two swimming pools, and a fitness center.
- Two swimming pools
- Fitness Center
- Multiple dining options
The resort’s name and architecture are inspired by Phuket’s rich history and old-town charm, reflecting the island’s unique blend of cultures.
Things to do:
- Relax at Karon Beach
- Visit Karon Temple Market
- Explore nearby Kata Beach
SALA Phuket Resort and Spa
SALA Phuket Resort and Spa is a luxury resort situated on the serene Mai Khao Beach. The resort is known for its private pools and outdoor bathrooms included in most of their stylishly designed villas. Guests can indulge in various activities, such as yoga classes, Thai cooking lessons, or delighting in the rejuvenating spa treatments available.
- Private pools in villas
- Outdoor bathrooms
- Spa and wellness center
The SALA Spa at the resort is designed using ancient Thai design elements, making it a uniquely relaxing experience for guests.
Things to do:
- Enjoy Mai Khao Beach
- Visit nearby Phuket attractions, such as Sirinat National Park
- Take part in yoga and Thai cooking classes
Lub d Phuket Patong
Lub d Phuket Patong is a popular budget hostel located in the heart of Patong. It offers a range of accommodations, including dormitories and private rooms. One of the main attractions of Lub d is its social atmosphere, with a great common area, pool, and bar. The hostel is within easy walking distance to the beach, markets, and nightlife of Patong.
Fun Fact: Lub d Phuket Patong offers regular events for guests such as BBQ nights, pool parties, and movie nights, which make it a great place to meet fellow travelers.
Things to do: Hit the beach, go for a night out at Bangla Road, or try your hand at Thai cooking in a local cooking class.
Doolay Hostel is a charming beachfront hostel located in Karon Beach. It offers a relaxed atmosphere with comfortable dorm rooms and private rooms. Travelers will appreciate the beachside location, onsite restaurant, and free Wi-Fi throughout the property.
Interesting Story: Doolay Hostel was named after the owner’s pet monkey, Doolay, who used to entertain guests with his playful antics at the hostel.
Things to do: Lounge on Karon Beach, visit the nearby Karon Temple, or take a day trip to nearby islands like Phi Phi Island.
Vitamin Sea Hostel Phuket
Vitamin Sea Hostel Phuket is a vibrant and modern budget hostel situated in Phuket Town. The hostel offers a range of accommodation options, including dormitories, family rooms, and gender-specific rooms providing organized and clean accommodations. There is a common area with a pool table, books, and board games providing an enjoyable atmosphere for socializing with other travelers.
Fun Fact: The hostel’s name reflects its focus on promoting the health and well-being of its guests, with yoga classes and healthy food options available.
Things to do: Explore the colorful streets of Phuket Old Town, visit the weekend markets, or catch a traditional Thai dance performance at a local theater.
Keemala is a luxurious and unique resort nestled amidst lush greenery, offering a serene escape from the bustling tourist areas of Phuket. This eco-friendly resort features villa accommodations inspired by four fictional tribes, each reflecting elements of Thai culture.
Fun Fact or Interesting Story: Keemala’s architecture and design are inspired by the stories of four ancient Phuket tribes, each of them known for distinct characteristics and ways of living. This adds a touch of enchantment and mystery to the resort’s atmosphere.
Things to do: While staying at Keemala, indulge in rejuvenating spa treatments, take a dip in the pool, or dine at one of their exquisite restaurants serving mouth-watering Thai cuisine. The resort also offers yoga classes, meditation sessions, and Thai cooking classes for guests to immerse themselves in the local culture.
Tree House Villas
The Tree House Villas at Phuket are a fantastic option for those seeking an extraordinary experience closer to nature. These elevated accommodations provide breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape and offer a unique blend of luxury and eco-conscious design.
Fun Fact or Interesting Story: The Tree House Villas are not only constructed with sustainable materials but also prioritize the preservation of the surrounding environment. This allows guests to enjoy their stay without compromising the ecological balance.
Things to do: Guests at the Tree House Villas can enjoy access to many activities such as kayaking, snorkeling, and spa services. Also, nearby attractions like Phuket Old Town and several pristine beaches make for perfect day trips, ensuring there’s always something exciting to explore.
In conclusion, both Keemala and Tree House Villas offer distinctive and unforgettable alternatives to traditional accommodations in Phuket. Whether it’s the enchanting design of Keemala or the natural serenity of the Tree House Villas, these unique stays are sure to make any visit to Phuket truly memorable.
Tips for Choosing Where to Stay
Phuket is a beautiful island in Thailand with plenty of areas that cater to various preferences and budgets. To help you decide where to stay in Phuket, consider these key factors: location and accessibility, amenities, budget, and personal preferences.
Location and Accessibility
When choosing where to stay in Phuket, consider the proximity to:
- Beaches: Some of the best beaches in Phuket include Kata Beach and Kamala Beach.
- Attractions: Popular attractions and activities differ depending on the area, so research what interests you most and whether it’s easily accessible from where you plan to stay.
- Transport: Phuket has limited public transportation, so make sure you select a location with easy access to taxis, buses, or shuttle services.
Different areas in Phuket offer various types of accommodation and facilities. Consider the following amenities when choosing your stay:
- Resort facilities: Some luxury resorts in Phuket, especially in areas like Mai Khao offer top-notch amenities, such as pools, spas, and fitness centers.
- Dining options: Destinations like Kata Yai and Kata Noi are known for their impressive array of food and restaurant choices.
- Family-friendly accommodations: If you’re traveling with children, look for areas with family-oriented lodging options, such as spacious rooms, easy beach access or kid-friendly activities.
Budget and Preferences
Phuket offers accommodations to suit all budgets and preferences. Keep the following in mind while choosing a place to stay:
- Mid-range to luxury: Karon Beach is ideal for first-time visitors who prefer a mix of budget and luxury options.
- Seclusion: If you prefer a quieter atmosphere, consider areas like Mai Khao that offer a more secluded vacation.
- Nightlife and entertainment: If you enjoy a lively atmosphere and nightlife, Patong is a popular choice for its bustling bars and clubs.
Fun Fact or Interesting Story: The bustling Phuket Old Town is a fascinating place to explore. Although not very popular among tourists, its history and culture make it well worth the visit.
Things to do: When in Phuket, don’t miss out on visiting the iconic Big Buddha, taking a boat tour to the famous Phi Phi Islands, or enjoying a stunning sunset at a beachside restaurant.